It’s been 30 years since the tragic Carrollton bus crash occurred in Kentucky, an accident that has been identified as the nation’s deadliest drunken driving crash. And still, to this day, it haunts the victims and the families of the deceased who were affected by it [Source: Courier Journal].
 
After nearly three decades have gone by, Quinton Higgins Jr. admits he is still haunted by the incident that “horrified the nation and led to major reforms in school bus safety as well as tougher drunken driving laws in many states including Kentucky.” It was May 14, 1988, when the church bus Higgins was riding in was hit by Larry Mahoney, who happened to be driving drunk and traveling the wrong way on I-71 in his pickup truck. The bus had been heading back from a day at the amusement park. The impact of the collision caused the bus’s fuel tank to puncture, turning “60 gallons of gasoline into a giant fireball that swept through the bus.”
Investigators said temperatures inside the bus reached 1,5000 degrees, making it difficult for those on board to breath and move. The bus was occupied primarily with teenagers who were panicked, afraid, and injured. Those who managed to escape did so from the rear exit as the front was blocked by the collision. The source highlighted that “charred remains of those who didn’t escape were found piled in the aisle and draped over seats.”
 
As you can imagine, it was a rather traumatic accident for these teens as many watched their friends die while they struggled themselves to get out of the bus. Twenty-seven lives were taken as a result of that accident.
 
Aside from Higgins, 40 others were able to walk away from the collision, but many suffered serious injuries such as burns to the face as well as lung damage. Higgins, who is now 45 and drives a school bus, suffered burns as well as lung damage and told the source “I’m still trying to heal.” He said that he feels as though he is stuck at the age of 15 and still gets flashbacks from the horrific incident.
Harold Dennis was also a survivor, one among many who suffered the most severe injuries. He told the source he can recall when he was pulled out from the bus and was placed on the ground. He said the blades of grass touching his back felt like knives sticking him. Dennis suffered third-degree burns on his back, shoulders, and face.
While many of the survivors say they still live in agony because of the deadly bus accident, they use their story to teach others about the dangers of drinking and driving. Dennis produced a documentary back in 2013 “in which he and other survivors recount their experiences.” Higgins decided to purchase an old Ford school bus similar to the one he had been riding in at the time of the accident and turned it into a mobile memorial. He taped the photos of those who died to the seats where they were sitting prior to the crash. Aside from the victims speaking out on the incident, many of the parents of the deceased teens also used the fatal accident to take a stand against drunk drivers so that fewer accidents like this occur and fewer lives are taken.
Drunk driving accidents have the potential to impact a victim’s life for months and even years. If you suffered an injury in one of these accidents, contact a Louisville, KY personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
You can read some of the stories many of the survivors and the families of the deceased shared by clicking here.
 
And if your life has been impacted by a drunk driver, there are forms of compensation that you might be entitled to collect that can make this difficult time a little easier to get through. The Louisville, KY personal injury attorneys we can connect you with will you help recover this while providing you with the support you need.

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